Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (left) said among the matters that will be highlighted to the proposed committee is the upgrading of the DBP's role in enforcing Bahasa Malaysia from its current function as a reference body. (Pix by SHARUL HAFIZ ZAM)

JITRA: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) will be given the power to take legal action against those who failed to uphold Bahasa Malaysia as the national language.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the proposal to grant DBP with the enforcement power is one of the suggestions to be deliberated by a soon-to-be-set-up special Cabinet committee.

Mahdzir said the special committee, to be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, is being formed as part of an effort to further strengthen the use of national language in all sectors in the country.

He added that the matter will also be discussed in the next few weeks.

"I will table the proposal to the Cabinet within then next two or three weeks," he said after attending a gathering with lecturers from Teachers' Training Institute and Biro Tata Negara at Institut Perguruan Kampus Darulaman.

Mahdzir said among the matters that will be highlighted to the proposed committee is the upgrading of the DBP's role in enforcing Bahasa Malaysia from its current function as a reference body.

"For example, the national language should be given priority in any websites and should the operators refused to comply with the regulation, DBP will have the authority to take action against the parties concerned.

"This proposal will be discussed by the special Cabinet committee before we can table it in Parliament for approval," he said.

Mahdzir said the Education Ministry will also act as the secretariat for the committee which will include several other ministries such as the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry and the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti).

"The Local Government Ministry for instance, may issue a directive to all local governments nationwide to ensure that all signboards to give a priority to the national language." he said.

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